TWO photographers have set up a studio in Burnham-on-Sea in a bid to give Somerset artists a place to come together and show off their creative talents. 

The Brickworks Studio launched in Victoria Court in Victoria Street today (October 17) and is a space where artists from across Somerset can come to exhibit their work, film and record podcasts and see their own projects come to life. 

The not-for-profit enterprise has been created by Jacob Dear and George Manchip, two Burnham based photographers who were keen to give local artists a space to be creative. 

The duo came up with the idea to open the studio during the coronavirus pandemic and said the town has been 'crying out' for an artistic space like this for some time. 

"We have both lived in Burnham for a number of years and as we have progressed in our careers as artists I think that we both knew we needed somewhere to work," Jacob said. 

"We tried looking at an office space somewhere else in Burnham but unfortunately it never went anywhere.

"It was half the size of this place and did not have the space we wanted. We just wanted somewhere to call ours. 

"Then this place came up for let and we jumped at the chance.

"We both agreed that we wanted to create a space for artists from Burnham and other areas of Somerset where they could show off their work in local exhibitions, do photoshoots and film and record podcasts and that is exactly what we're trying to do with The Brickworks.

"Burnham has a fantastic art scene with great local artists from photographers to painters but there has never been anywhere for them to come together in one place and that is what we want to change.

"We want to create a collective where artists can share their ideas and work and be creative."

The project has been supported by The Princess Theatre and Arts Centre as well as a few other sponsors as well as £2,500 grant from Burnham and Highbridge Town Council. 

The studio will only be open to artists on request but Jacob and George said they are currently curating their first exhibition which will launch later this year.

"We are really looking forward to hosting our first exhibition, I think it will be really nice to showcase some of the amazing art in our community," Jacob said. 

"We have a podcasting space set up here which is great so we can film and record podcasts, a printing area so we can create books and a relaxed and comfortable space which we and artists we see can enjoy. 

"I have been working in the arts industry for about ten years now and George is just at the start of his career so it will be great for us to have a space to work and to meet and work with artists in the area. It's very exciting for us."

George said there has not been much provision for artists in Burnham and he hopes The Brickworks Studio will change that. 

"Creative space for artists just hasn't really been around in Burnham which is a real shame but we want The Brickworks Studio to help bring that to the community," George said. 

"It will be great to speak to other artists and see what they have to offer."

Jacob said he hopes The Brickworks will inspire artists to share their work and he has high hopes for the future. 

"Artists have had a really tough time during the coronavirus pandemic, I've experienced it myself," Jacob said. 

"But there are some artists out there doing amazing things and we need to showcase and celebrate that. 

"We have set up an online community on Facebook called The Brickworks Collective and about 100 people signed up to it in just a few days so the demand is definitely here. 

"We are really looking forward to the future and seeing all of the art that people have to share with us." 

For more information search for The Brickworks Collective on Facebook or @thebrickworksstudio on Instagram.